Review: Performing Arts Network “Beneath Winter Skies”

Performing Arts Network

The Performing Arts Network presented “Beneath Winter Skies” an intimate performance at its studios on a rare cool afternoon in Miami.

“Beneath Winter Skies” examines the ambiguities of the harshest of seasons. Each of the engaging artists on the program had a unique interpretation of the concept of winter; ranging from loneliness and discontent to the warmth found in the company of friends sharing an enjoyable experience. In some cases it’s from the perspective of the outsider looking in; in others, the artist steps into another persona.

Such was the case with the first piece on the program “Love Story” choreographed and performed by the mime artist Nina Martin, and set to a score by Astor Piazzolla. A man’s suit hangs forlornly on a hanger; Martin approaches, intrigued. She slips one arm into a sleeve, then another; we witness the transformation of one person into two- a male and a female.

Martin, who holds a Ph.D in non-verbal theater from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Republic and has taken master classes with Maestro Marcel Marceau, is a master of her craft; when she removes the jacket, she leaves the man behind. Martin also performed Life to Gustav Mahler’s 5th Symphony. She artfully captures the seasons of life- from birth to death to birth…

Ballet Flamenco La Rosa, under the direction of founder and artist director Ilisa Rosal, presented several pieces on the program. With each selection we feel the heat of southern Spain and the indisputable warmth of friendship and a shared passion. Caracoles, performed by Ilisa Rosal, Juan Sobrino and Yanela Gomez with Jesus Rodrigues “El Sivi” on guitar and vocals by Almudena Caceres, was a bravado of strong technique and captivating performances. Caracoles brought together artists with a combined history of years of study and performing, both national and international. Each displayed an impressive command of the art form.

Rosal trained in Spain and in the United States with many distinguished artists. She is a prolific choreographer who has created more than 150 Flamenco pieces. Rosal explains that she chose the theme of winter because we “typically don’t celebrate it in Miami.” Winter is open to “lots of range of possibility for interpretation; the program presents diverse artists celebrating the winter season.”

Ballet Flamenco La Rosa closed the performance with “Seguiriyas/ Martinete” a robust piece which brought the audience to its feet. Outside, a cool wind blew and the sun was shining.

By Diana Dunbar

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